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This looks exactly like every third intersection in India. I saw this kind of packing and craziness in Bangalore, Mysore, and New Dehli when I was travelling for work last September.



I did hire a motorcycle for a day and go riding with my fiance, but I only did that in the off-season in Goa, which is the Indian beach/vacation state. There was a little craziness here and there, but nothing like the big cities. Complications included the different shift pattern on the bike (top to bottom: N-1-2-3-4), the wildly different torque curve of a 135cc two-stroke, and the completely inferior front drum brake (I barely touch the rear brake on my own ride).



The way it works is: everyone is always looking forward and picking their own way through. Top speed rarely gets up to 45km/h and is more usually in the 25-35km/h range. Side mirrors are folded out of the way (if they're mounted at all) to make it easier to slip into tight spaces at intersections. Right of way rules: military wins, then big to small, then the vehicle in front wins. Head on encounters (left turn through traffic) are negotiated individually, though speed is much reduced (as you can see in the Saigon movie).



In order to let a driver in front of you know that you are behind them, you honk your horn. An almost constant stream of single beeps is a simple "here I am" message. Two or three quick beeps is usually an acknowledgement of some sort (I hear you. I see your turn signal. etc.) Long blasts on the horn are usually reserved for "you're an asshat".



A road vehicle in India may not have windows, decent tires, an actual seat, working headlights or doors, but it will absolutely positively have a perfectly functioning horn or it will not be used on the street.



It was all quite interesting once I overcame my fear of nearly constant collision and started paying attention to what was going on around me.



Later,

Ross
 

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Saigon. I can't believe I'm still in [SCREEEEEETCH! CRASH!] arrrgggghhh!
 

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Wow, cool.



10 years ago that Saigon traffic would have been accompanied by choking clouds of two stroke smoke, so thick that it obscured whole intersections, and resulted in traffic accidents 'cause people couldn't see each other.



Another benefit of the 4 stroke revolution?
 

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I have been to China many times and it is similar, especially in Southern China. Although that mass is more and more turning into cages :(



The riding skill of these guys on little 125 and 250cc motorcycles and 50cc scooters is amazing.



Screw MSF courses, if people had to ride in these conditions for a year everyone would be a skilled rider and be ready for the joys of lane splitting.
 

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As a guy with a Vietnamese Ex Wife I can contest that is what Saigon is like. you take your life in your hands when you go out on the street..
 

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Re: VIETNAMESE DRIVERS ROCK!

If a traffic light fails, we freak out and instant gridlock occurs.

The Vietnamese have no traffic light and they navigate the intersection from numerous angles without a single crash.

Maybe we should all learn to drive in Vietnam. When we come back home, driving will be a piece of cake.
 

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i'm with you on India. I thought New Delhi was positively civlized compared to Chennai and Mumbai. Still working there is great fun. Hero Honda rules. Long live the Bullet. you forgot about honking at the corner to let people know as well.

how'd ya like india air air india and jet air?

regards ed
 

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That's a fun clip! Reminds me a little of Mexico City traffic, which I visited twice for extended periods on my ZX-9R. People do stop for traffic lights when they feel like it - all other rules are out the window. I even remember seeing an ambulance with lights and sirens going caught in traffic because no one would move for it.

Lane splitting, occasional sidewalk use, and extensive honking were de rigeur. It was oddly fun dealing with the traffic, as I recall.

Haven't experienced Asia yet, but hope to.

 

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There is a traffic signal

There is a traffic signal at this intersection, which is why you can see the traffic flow from one direction sort of stop and then the other direction starts to move across. Obviously, the traffic signal is viewed as more of a helpful suggestion. BTW, my friend from Vietnam says this intersection is relatively civilized compared to many others that have no traffic signal. He describes these signal-less intersections as big clusterf**ks that tend to move in a slow, circular fashion. Sounds like utter chaos to me.
 

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Don't forget the double parking where you flip on your hazard lights and just hop out of the car and leave it there!



Hazard lights in Mexico City mean "I'm about to inconvenience anyone behind me."
 

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A big part of this is just that they are on bikes instead of cars... you can see the other riders so as to use body language to cede right of way.



It just doesn't work with cars. Full face helmets probably hurt some of it too but not as bad as cars.
 

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Re: There is a traffic signal

The traffic signal is some guys with whistles, not a traffic light like we are used to.

If you look closely in the video you can see a guy or two standing in the middle of the intersection trying to direct traffic.
 
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